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Tell me, don't show me - your favorite audio documentaries
September 2, 2014 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Somewhat-obscure-filter, but I'm looking to generate a list of compelling audio/radio documentaries that use no or little music, but lots of other kinds of sound, to tell a story.

Bonus points if it's someone describing a talent or skill, or how they do something, almost like an instructional documentary. Length doesn't matter, but it certainly helps if it's online. Podcasts and shows like Snap Judgment, RadioLab, and This American Life are great, but those shows don't always accomplish what I'm looking for. The key thing is that the non-verbal sounds do a significant part of the storytelling. All ideas welcome - thanks!
posted by Ms. Toad to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Roger Deakin: "The House" (Real Audio only, sadly, but fantastic).

I'll try to convert to MP3 this evening.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:06 PM on September 2


the podcast that i always recommend is Love and Radio. they have a really unique editing style and utilizes sound effects well, and not as excessive as Radiolab.

what about radio dramas? the Truth is an excellent podcast that uses a lot of sound effects. there was also a story on Transom about whale noises a while back that may fit your criteria.

third coast is a good place to explore. im sure they've highlighted stories in the past for its sound effects.
posted by monologish at 2:07 PM on September 2


Midway between podcast and show,mostly because off delivery channel: The Sound Of Sports
posted by straw at 2:07 PM on September 2


The doc that straw linked to is excellent.
posted by radioamy at 2:17 PM on September 2


Immediately coming to mind is Joe Richman's amazing classic "New York Works" series. I can't recall if there is any music. If there is, it is little - and the pieces are chockfull of specific sounds of place and action. The stories are portraits of one person working in a dying industry - seltzer man, knife sharpener, cowbell maker.... All are worth a listen!
posted by munichmaiden at 9:11 PM on September 2


This are brilliant, perfect! Thanks so much.
posted by Ms. Toad at 6:40 AM on September 3


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